While the Colorado marijuana DUI bill only awaits a signature from Governor John Hickenlooper in order to be passed into law, this controversial bill has recently sparked a debate within the community, as a Denver man has filed a lawsuit contending that the bill’s proposed legal limits of THC in the blood are too low, are discriminatory and violate the man’s constitutional rights. According to the bill, drivers who are found – through blood testing – to have a THC content of more than 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood will be suspected of driving while under the influence and will be subject to DUI charges (THC is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana).
However, unlike alcohol-related DUIs, marijuana DUIs, according to this bill, would provide a “permissive inference” standard, meaning that the results of blood tests reporting THC levels would only provide a likely indicator of intoxication. Alternately, alcohol-related DUIs have “per se” standards, meaning that indisputable evidence that a person as a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than (or equal to) 0.08 will most certainly result in a DUI conviction.
The man at the forefront of the lawsuit trying block the passage of the marijuana DUI bill is hoping that his case will invoke higher courts to step in and declare the law (once signed by the Governor) to be unconstitutional. According to the man’s arguments, regular marijuana users (such as those who use marijuana for medicinal reasons) naturally have higher levels of THC in their blood, which ultimately means that the “5 nanogram per milliliter” standard would not accurately assess intoxication and would, instead, apply the standard in a biased manner in practice.
As this lawsuit awaits the court’s attention, lawmakers and the public alike remain poised to see how this ruling could affect the Colorado marijuana DUI bills.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a DUI or any drug crime in Denver, you will need an experienced defense attorney who is dedicated to defending your rights. At the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara, our skilled Denver criminal defense lawyers are committed to providing the accused with the best possible defense and to working tirelessly to helping them resolve their case as favorably as possible. To learn more about your legal rights and receive expert advice on how to proceed with your case, contact us at (720) 379-8262.